Biographies

This section is under development. We aim to have an assortment of biographies of individuals who are Nordic or have a connection to the Nordics, and who have made an impact on Nordic and/or international society in the modern era. The intention is to focus on those who are little known and to be inclusive. 

Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer at Writers' and Literary Translators' International Conference in Stockholm, June 30, 2008. Photo: Andrei Romanenko (CC BY-SA 3.0)

2019.08.21 | Biography, Linda Haverty Rugg, Literature

Tomas Tranströmer (1931-2015)

Winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature, Tomas Tranströmer was one of those rare poets who is both acclaimed by scholars and critics as well as beloved by a broad readership in Sweden and internationally. Translated into over 60 languages, his poetry is characterized by powerful imagery, and focuses particularly on the human interface with…

Swedish opera singer Birgit Nilsson performing on 31 July, 1969. Photo: Svenskt Fotoreportage via IMS Vintage Photos (Public domain)

2019.08.16 | Biography, Jenny Rood, Juliette Victor, The arts

Birgit Nilsson (1918-2005)

Birgit Nilsson was a Swedish soprano who performed in the world’s top opera houses and festivals, noted particularly for her roles in Wagner (especially Isolde in Tristan and Isolde), Puccini (Turandot), and Richard Strauss (Elektra). She is considered perhaps the best Wagnerian soprano of her time.

Danish film director Bille August during the 2008 film festival 'Nordiska Filmdagar' (Nordic Film Days) in Helsingborg, Sweden. Photo: Jan Kivisaar (CC BY 3.0)

2019.08.05 | Biography, Linda Haverty Rugg, The arts

Bille August (b. 1948)

Bille August is a Danish filmmaker in the realist tradition, and a winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1988 for Pelle Erobreren (Pelle the Conqueror). He created a cinematic adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s Den goda viljan (Best Intentions, 1992) and of Peter Høeg’s thriller Frøken Smillas fornemmelse for sne (Smilla’s Sense of…

Herbert Blomstedt in Leipziger Gewandhaus, December 2015. Photo: Alexander Böhm (CC BY-SA 4.0)

2019.08.02 | Biography, Jenny Rood, Juliette Victor, The arts

Herbert Thorson Blomstedt (b. 1927)

Herbert Blomstedt is a Swedish conductor known for both championing Nordic composers and his well-received interpretations of German and Austrian composers over many decades.

A portrait of Danish film director Susanne Bier from 2013. Photo: Les Kaner (CC BY 3.0)

2019.08.01 | Biography, Linda Haverty Rugg, The arts

Susanne Bier (b. 1960)

Acclaimed Danish film director with many awards to her credit, including an Oscar, Golden Globes, an Emmy, and numerous festival and European prizes, Susanne Bier concentrates on family dynamics and their relation to global concerns in her work, particularly poverty and violence.

Swedish Photographer Lennart Nilsson, May 21, 2010. Photo: Holger Ellgaard (CC BY-SA 3.0)

2019.08.01 | Biography, Linda Haverty Rugg, The arts

Lennart Nilsson (1922-2017)

Swedish photographer Lennart Nilsson won fame with his photographs of the development of human life inside the uterus.

Danish poet Inger Christensen reads from one of her works at the 2008 launch of 'Nordisk litteratur til tjeneste' (Nordic literature at your service), an anthology of canonical Nordic literature. Photo: Johannes Jansson/norden.org (CC BY 2.5 DK)

2019.07.31 | Biography, Linda Haverty Rugg, Literature

Inger Christensen (1935-2009)

One of Denmark’s most daring experimental twentieth-century poets, Inger Christensen pushes language to its extreme limits while also engaging with philosophical concepts and political issues such as gender, ecology, and nuclear war.

Ingmar Berman (1918-2007), Swedish stage and film director; photo taken during the production of Wild Strawberries (1957). Svensk Filmindustri (SF) press photo. Source: Svenska filminstitutet.

2019.07.24 | Biography, Linda Haverty Rugg, The arts

Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007)

Ingmar Bergman was a pre-eminent Swedish film director, theater director, screenwriter, and author. Internationally acclaimed as a cinematic auteur, he was known for his exquisite aesthetics and a focus on intense psychological drama, gender issues, theology, philosophy, and autobiography. He worked with a select group of actors and technicians,…

Swedish tenor Nicolai Gedda, portrait from 1959. Photo:  Per Angré (Public domain)

2019.07.19 | Biography, Jenny Rood, Juliette Victor, The arts

Nicolai Gedda (1925-2017)

Nicolai Gedda (given name Harry Gustaf Nikolai Gädda) was a Swedish tenor born in Stockholm who performed mainly in operas and is one of the most widely recorded opera singers. He was known for his versatility and an amazingly high register.

Swedish conductor Sixten Ehrling, c. 1960. Photographer unknown (Public domain)

2019.07.15 | Biography, Jenny Rood, Juliette Victor, The arts

Evert Sixten Ehrling (1918-2005)

Evert Sixten Ehrling was a Swedish conductor who led opera houses and symphony orchestras in Sweden and the United States. He was particularly noted for his recordings of Nordic composers (especially Berwald, Nielsen and Sibelius), his high standards and his technical precision.

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